Nature Notes is written by Kankakee Sands staff, who are inspired by the many different plant and animal species found there.
Eat, dig and be merry! The pocket gopher certainly does 2 of the 3, and this creature is very helpful to the prairie.
Learn about prairie dropseed--a perfect 10 on the prairie!
Be it grasses or sedges or rushes, Kankakee Sands boasts many families of plants!
Howling to the moonlight on a hot summer's night (or anytime of year actually) is the mysterious coyote.
Radiant amidst the subtler hues of the prairie in autumn is the perfectly purple New England aster.
Crayfish. Crawdad. Mudbug?! Learn about the crustaceans--native and non-native--in Newton County.
The glow of fireflies brings about fond memories of warm summer nights and running around attempting to catch them, but do you know why they glow?
What's in a name? Plenty, when you're the striking red-winged blackbird, a common sight at Kankakee Sands.
"A thing of beauty is a joy forever." And few plants rival the beauty of the sand prairie phlox.
Oaks are so much more than large, attractive trees which produce acorns for wildlife and have sturdy limbs for tree swings.
Timing is everything. So it is with plants. Each plant has its bloom time, and the insects and birds depend upon it.
Two very different encounters with this amazing bird reveal a lesson about life on the prairie.
Want a little excitement this winter? Come on out to Kankakee Sands to experience a covey of quail exploding out from under the snow!
Alyssa Nyberg shares her fondness for the stately rattlesnake master.
Coming up on Halloween. Is there anything scarier than a non-native species choking out our wetlands?
Volunteers give selflessly of themselves and their time, many of them year after year, and Kankakee Sands flourishes all the more because of them.
Plants don't have brains or mouths or eyes or ears, but they still communicate their needs.
The much-hated garlic mustard has one thing going for it--it's great in a salad!
Queeah! Queerp! That's woodpecker for "read about this really cool (and loud) citizen of Conrad Station Savanna!"
Kankakee Sands is teeming with grasses--indian grass, porcupine grass, june grass, tickle grass, witch grass, switch grass, just to name a few. Learn more about this important plant family!
A walk on a frozen February pond reveals a fascinating discovery.
You're making a holiday wreath and want to use bittersweet. But which bittersweet--American or Oriental--will you use? Choose wisely...
From seed box to beautiful bloom, here's the story of Ludwig the Seed.
Not just another pretty face, the blue lobelia employs an efficient defense system.
Kankakee Sands is a stopping point for many birds during their migrations south for the winter.
Are these flying objects UFOs? No, they're well-camouflaged grasshoppers!
Don't blink or you might miss this speedy lizard!
Learn about the expansive milkweed family
Sunshine on a stick!
This showy flower found at Kankaee Sands is not just another pretty face--wild lupine is good for the soil and essential for several butterfly species.
Having the Henslow’s sparrow at Kankakee Sands tells us our restoration efforts are working!
Each night the red bat must eat half its body weight in insects.
Love is in the air, and so are the Northern harriers!
There's a lot more to the prairie than just what is above ground.
It is unknown whether this secretive species lives in Kankakee Sands.
These crafty birds will lure in their prey by using bait.
While these frogs are abundant at Kankakee, their numbers have declined dramatically nationwide.
You won't find their nests in the trees as they use the prairie's vegetation to nurture their young.
Habitat loss threatens North America's tallest bird, but the Whooping Crane is making a comeback.
Not all legless reptiles are snakes.
Doin' what comes naturally: perching, roosting, flying, hovering, and swooping over the short grass prairies of Kankakee Sands.